Friday, January 9, 2009

More evidence for Mental Mediumship

According to podcaster Alex Tsakaris, he has started doing trials on mediums and skeptic cold readers. The results so far appear to show strong statistical evidence for mediums sorta confirming previous research such as the cross correspondences, showing what they are doing anamalous cognition. An recent interview which was done by Alex Tskaris he interviews Michael Tymn afterlife researcher on skeptiko. Trial 3 is apparently underway.


http://www.mediumexperiment.com/trial3/survey.php?sid=52CC57

Guest: Michael Tymn author of the new book, The Articulate Dead, discusses the history of mediumship and the scientific research surrounding the topic.


http://www.skeptiko.com/index.php?id=72

1 comment:

Zetetic_chick said...

According to podcaster Alex Tsakaris, he has started doing trials on mediums and skeptic cold readers

Trials on medims vs. skeptic cold readers is an excellent idea, because it could confirm or refute the skeptical hypothesis that mental mediums use "cold reading" techniques.

For instance, in his critique to Gary Schwartz's research with mediums, skeptic Ray Hyman wrote: "In August, 2001, Schwartz assembled a panel of seven experts on cold reading, including me, to instruct him on the topic. We were shown videotapes of Suzane Northrup and John Edward giving readings in his laboratory. Most members of the panel were openly sympathetic to Schwartz's goals and program. Yet we all agreed that what we saw Northrup and Edward doing was no different from what we would expect from any cold reader"

The "was no different from what we would expect from any cold reader" comment implies that mediums are using cold reading (look that Hyman is doing a positive claim, not expressing a doubt; so, to know if his claim is true, we need empirical evidence that test and confirm the cold-reading hypothesis, not only "faith" that it was the case, because it beg the question against the mediums)

Gary Schwartz replied "let's to test the cold reading hypothesis".

In his words: "Again, Hyman's memory is sadly selective and inaccurate. As mentioned above, at the two day meeting I convened of seven highly experienced professional mentalist magicians and cold readers, they all agreed that they could not apply their conventional mentalist tricks under these strict experimental conditions [no knowledge of the sitter's identity, and no verbal or non-verbal visual or auditory cues / feedback]. However, a vocal subset (Hyman was one of the three), made the claim that if they had a year or two to practice, they might be able to figure out a way how to fake what the mediums were doing under these experimental conditions. My response to this vocal subset was simple. It was "show me." Just as I don't take the claims of the mediums on faith, I don't take the claims of the magicians on faith either. Mentalist magicians who make these claims will have to "sit in the research chair" and show us that they can do what they claim they can do. Thus far, the few cold readers who have made these extreme claims have refused to be experimentally tested. They have not been willing to demonstrate in the laboratory that they can't do what the mediums do under these experimental conditions; and at a later date, demonstrate that their performance can improve substantially with practice"

http://www.enformy.com/Gary-reHymanReview.htm

Look in the following facts:

1)Hyman (and other skeptic) "made the claim that if they had a year or two to practice, they might be able to figure out a way how to fake what the mediums were doing under these experimental conditions"

Why do professional skeptical cold readers need one or two years of practice, while the mediums inmediately agreed themselves to the experimental conditions (without excuses or "one or two years" of practice)?

Even if the skeptical cold readers are right, and "one or two years of practice" is needed to figure out what's happening, why didn't these skeptical cold readers have submitted themselves to a controlled experimental conditions to test the cold-reading hypothesis?

Hyman probably thinks that readers will uncritically believe his cold-reading claim, but I only believe it when he offer empirical evidence that cold readers can have the same success that mediums under the same controlled experimental conditions.

The above facts offer prima facie reasons (even thought not evidence) for the idea that mediums aren't doing what skeptic Hyman claims they do.

The experiment of Tsakiris will test the cold reading hypothesis, and will give us scientific elements to draw more reliable conclusions on mental mediumship.

ZC